Scott on the SOPA blackouts

Part of my intent when launching the 49th was to link to a lot of interesting Canadian writers, thus, let’s throw a link to Original Gentleman Scott H.Payne. At one of his many blogging homes, Beams and Struts (also home to the beloved Chris Dierkes), Scott has an expository essay on the recent SOPA blackouts; here’s a taste:

Undoubtedly, many will credit Wikipedia’s blackout efforts with delivering the knock-out punch to SOPA and PIPA, just like many chalked the revolution in Egypt up to Facebook and the uprising in Iran up to Twitter. And Wikipedia deserves credit, as far as it goes. But to explain the defeat of SOPA by a game changing move by Wikipedia and Jimmy Wales is to misunderstand the much larger dynamics at play here.

The point is that when we think about game changing political moments, they’re generally initiated by precisely the kind of institutions and key players in which our trust has become increasingly eroded. By necessity, a political playing field once littered with institutional influence is now populated by average individuals working together to take matters into their own hands. And our impassioned fight for a free and open internet is both an expression and function of that shift.

We struggle to understand this shift using the signposts that have so sturdily guided us in the past, but to no avail. Those signposts point to things in which we do not ultimately believe anymore. Or, at least, not in the same ways.

As they say, read the whole thing.

Jonathan McLeod

Jonathan McLeod is a writer living in Ottawa, Ontario. (That means Canada.) He spends too much time following local politics and writing about zoning issues. Follow him on Twitter.


        • Er, sorry. Missed these. But I guess my latest post on the front page addresses both your comments?

          Sadly, I probably won’t be able to swing Vegas. With the little one and a new company that doesn’t necessarily supply me with a regular pay cheque come hell or high water, both time and money are tight.

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